Well since you're Belgian, you must know the Guust Flater strips. A while ago they remastered all of these strips, bundling them into about 20 albums. The first ones are clearly of less quality, but because have not been remastered, they were just presented "as is". If the original image was small and without color, that's just how it was published. The result is a series of books where you can actually see the artist progress and the artwork get better. I was wondering if you couldn't publish your strips in a similar format?
Of course, it's less pretty then a formatted comic where every strip has the same format, quality, colors, shadows, ... but on the other side it's more close to the original comic, it's a closer approximation to the website version, and it clearly shows the evolution of the comic.
I guess i'm just saying an oldtimer car isn't per definition more ugly then a new sportscar. Maybe you should considder what the advantage of 702 hours of work is... Will it really make so much of a difference? Are people really going to not buy the books for the sole reason that the original strips haven't been altered? I think if anything, i'd like the original strips better to be honest. Also that would imply using the line art version of the first 3 comics in the book, rather then the colored version that is on the website now.
Just my 2 cents, hope it helps.